How to Start a New WordPress Website with a Mac
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a Mac user or someone who knows one; if not, maybe it’s time to consider switching. For those of you who are fans of Apple and its sleek, stylish products, you may be familiar with the company’s famous ‘sticky note’ invention – if not, it’s time to dive into the world of Apple Notes (and why you should). You’ll find that they’re a great way to get things done without having to spend too much time finding the right apps and documents.
One of the best things about the Mac is the fact that it provides a polished, user-friendly environment, which makes it ideal for creating and publishing websites. If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and want to know what it’s like, this article is for you. Here we’ll teach you how to get started on a journey to become a web developer, using the world’s most popular content management system, WordPress.
Choosing A Hosting Service
Before you begin building your site, you’ll need to pick a web hosting service, which is where your blog will reside once it’s completed. There are many popular hosting services available, such as Bluehost, which we recommend, and it comes with a one-click installer for WordPress.
You’ll need to decide whether you want your site to be publicly available or not. If you opt for the latter, you’ll need to ensure that your host provides privacy protection features, such as a private blog, so that your personal details are not exposed to the general public. For more information, consult your host’s documentation or contact customer support.
Setting Up A WordPress Account
After you’ve launched your blog, you’ll need to create an account with WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system. To do so, visit the WordPress website and click the ‘Get Started’ button on the top right corner.
You’ll be guided through a few simple steps to create a WordPress account. Once created, you’ll find a welcome message from WordPress and an option to click on the ‘Activate’ button to begin using the platform.
From here, you’ll be taken to the dashboard, which will display your blog’s general settings. The dashboard is where you’ll spend most of your time configuring and customizing your site, so it’s essential that you get to know it well. From the dashboard, you can access different areas of your blog to edit content, change layout, and more. For more information, read our primer on using WordPress.
Creating A Classic Blog Layout
One of the first things you may want to do after creating a WordPress account is to customize the appearance of your blog. To do so, click on the ‘Design’ option on the left side menu bar and select ‘Blogs’ from the drop-down menu.
Here, you have two options – ‘Blogs’ and ‘Business’. The former is a classic blog layout while the latter is a more corporate-looking blog design. If you’re not sure which to opt for, stick with the classic blog format. It’s simple, easy to understand, and most importantly, it provides you with lots of freedom when it comes to the appearance of your blog.
Under the ‘Blogs’ tab, you’ll find a range of options – from general to logo and color options. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll choose a semi-transparent black background with a white font. You can also find a range of free fonts from which to choose at the WordPress website.
Adding Blog Content
Now that you have a stylish blog laid out with a classic blog design, it’s time to start adding content to it, one blog post at a time. To do so, click on the ‘Add New’ button in the top right corner of the dashboard.
When asked to add content, click on the ‘Choose File’ option to select a blog post from your computer. Alternatively, you can use the ‘WordPress.com blog’ option to automatically import posts from a WordPress.com blog.
After importing the post, you can edit it as desired and then publish it once you’re happy with its content. For more information on using WordPress, take a look at our detailed guide on how to use WordPress.
Customizing The Header
The header of your blog serves a vital function – without it, your blog would look dull and unprofessional. It also provides you with an opportunity to add a bit more personality to your blog. To customize the header, navigate to the ‘Appearance’ option on the left side menu bar and click on the ‘Header’ option.
Here, you have the option to change the header image, the background color and image size. To add some personality to your blog’s header, you can use a tool like Canva to create a unique icon, add images of people or places, and more. Remember to keep it simple and stylish – after all, you’re customizing the header of a blog!
If you decide to go for a yellow background for your blog’s header, you’ll need to make sure that your host provides the necessary security measures to ensure that your website remains safe and operating normally. For instance, you may need to ensure that your host is using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which is a protocol that encrypts data, including website traffic, as it’s transferred between your website and a customer’s browser. If you want to learn more about becoming a web developer or want to build a better understanding of web security, read our detailed guide on how to secure a WordPress website.
Adding A Menu And Submenu
After you’ve added some content to your blog, it’s time to add some more functionality. To do so, click on the ‘Tool’ option on the left side menu bar and select ‘Menus’.
Here, you can create a drop-down menu that functions similarly to the one you’d find in a traditional desktop menu. If you click on the ‘Custom Menu’ option at the top, you can enter an item’s name, and then click on the ‘Create’ button to add a menu item.
To add a submenu, click on the ‘More’ option at the top and then click on the ‘Create’ button to create a secondary menu.
You can add as many menus and submenus as you want to your blog. To edit existing items, click on them and then click the ‘Edit’ button at the top-right corner of the menu.
Editing Existing Blog Posts
If you’ve ever been blogging, you’ll know that once you’ve posted something, it’s quite difficult to change your mind and delete it. Fortunately for us web developers, there are tools that allow us to go back in time and alter content, as needed.
To do so, navigate to the ‘Posts’ option on the left side menu bar and click on the ‘Edit Posts’ tab.
Here, you can find your blog’s published posts in chronological order. You can also use this space to re-publish older posts, with updated content, using the ‘Checkpoints’ feature, which allows you to highlight changes made to a post and remove them retrospectively. Once you’ve made the required edits, click on the ‘Save’ button at the top to publish your changes.
Optimizing Your Blog For Search
With a beautiful, fully-functional header and some great content, it’s time to shine. To do so, you need to make sure that your blog posts are correctly indexed by the major search engines, such as Google and Bing. To do so, navigate to the ‘Search Settings’ option on the left side menu bar and click on the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ tab.
Here, you can select whether you want your blog to appear in the organic or paid search results. The former provides you with free listings on search engines while the latter requires you to pay for ads on search engines (organic listings appear on the side bar of Google and Bing when a user searches a topic, while paid ads appear at the top of the search results). For more information on this topic, read our guide to SEO for bloggers.
Installing And Configuring WordPress To Work On A Mac
In the previous step, we configured WordPress to work on a Mac – now it’s time to launch the blog itself.